Bangor university has announced it plans to cut the pensions of its clerical workers; I.T. staff; lab workers; cleaners; caterers; security staff and more. The pensions of higher paid staff, such as lecturers and executive managers, will not be affected. UNISON says by targeting non-academic staff, Bangor has shown how little it values the role of support workers. The trade union has promised to resist the changes.
Bangor is proposing to reduce the employer contribution rate to the pensions of its lowest paid staff and attack the benefits they receive. There are no plans to reduce the employee contribution rate. The university claims the measure is a result of increasing pension costs. UNISON says the pension scheme is performing well and running at surplus. It argues the university’s analysis of the pension scheme is flawed and based on outdated assumptions. The trade union is angry its own suggestions to resolve the situation without affecting the pensions of Bangor support staff, have been rashly dismissed by the university.
Wendy Allison, UNISON Cymru Wales regional organiser said,
“It’s pretty shabby to cut the pensions of only your lowest paid staff. The prestige of the university is built by all of its employees but Bangor is treating support staff as second-class employees.
“Pensions are deferred wages which people have worked hard to receive. We will not allow the university to plunge employees into financial difficulty in their retirement.
“Bangor staff were already reeling from the news before Christmas that 60 jobs will go and now the university has doubled their misery.
“Bangor executives are ploughing ahead with all sorts of important decisions without listening to staff or their unions. We want to be included and have practical suggestions to resolve the pension situation without the need for such drastic action.
“UNISON will defend university jobs and decent pensions for all and we will continue to argue for the best possible services for students.”
Alastair Gittins, UNISON Press Officer on 07816 538397